India has been home to innovative business ideas from the very beginning. Entrepreneurs have been pioneering with startup ideas that have become a global name today.
Ahmedabad-based Jashuben’s Pizza is one such business idea that has left everyone craving one of those pizzas with an Indian twist. Jashuben set up her version of a pizzeria more than 30 years ago in Ahmedabad. To cater to the local tastebud, she added a dash of sugar and jaggery to her pizza toppings.
In 2013, Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, praised the entrepreneurial spirit of Jashuben and Anderben. While speaking with the women’s wing of industry lobby Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI, Narendra Modi said that Jashuben’s pizzas are ‘one of Ahmedabad’s secret guilty pleasures’.
To top up their entrepreneurial skills, Jashuben & Anderben came up with an innovative oven to bake their pizza’s while using LPG gas.
The Journey Of The Power Duo
In the early 90s, Anderben and her husband Joraver were working as cooks with Jashuben. Soon Anderben expressed her desire to own a business and Jashuben lent a helping hand. She gave Anderben some seed money for her venture as a loan which helped her to start her business.
At that time, pizza ovens were not easily available and the commercial ones came at a high cost. However, the craze for Pizzas was on a rise in the market and Anderben wanted to serve it as street food but with a twist.
Jashuben & Anderben designed and conceptualized an oven that would work on a cooking gas cylinder. The oven was as tall as a cupboard, and had eight layers. The pizza would be placed on the first layer, and gradually moved upwards layers every few minutes, reaching the eighth layer in 15 minutes. The oven could bake 25 pizzas at a time.
Today, the same oven is used in preparing the pizzas.
More than 30 years down the line, Jashuben Shah Old Pizza at Law Garden Road is running successfully and sells delicious pizzas at a nominal price of Rs 80.
What Makes The Pizza So Amazing?
There are no special ingredients or exotic vegetables like jalapenos, baby corns, or olives used as a topping. Despite that, the pizzas have an irresistible flavor that has attracted customers over the years.
The pizza dough and tomato puree are kneaded and prepared at home. A layer of the sauce is spread on the crunchy and biscuit-like crust, and onions and capsicum are placed on top. The dish is then topped with a generous layer of grated local cheese, covering all the ingredients underneath.
The menu offers seven varieties — Italian, Jain, cheese baked, plain cheese, Margherita, double cheese, and pineapple cheese pizza costing between Rs 80 – Rs 100.
Passing Down The Heritage
After Jashuben’s demise a few years ago, Anderben and her husband had been running the business. After their daughter’s marriage, their Son-in-Law Rajendra Singh has been running the business with innovative ideas since 2004-05.
As per Rajendra, they have 3 outlets in Ahmedabad and sell over 300 pizzas every day in each outlet, earning around Rs 90,000 a day.
Of all the customers that visit the food joint, nearly 60% have been coming repetitively over the years while the rest are the school and college-going youth.